One of the things in life that I have become a huge advocate of is the Humanities Core Course at UCI that I trudged through for thirty weeks plus three weeks of finals last year. This stuff was honestly, and I'm not even exagerating, the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. But I can't deny that I learned a helllllll of a lot of crap. And I mean crap in the affectionate way when I say that.
I keep thinking back to Michael Kohlhaas, which was probably my favorite read of the entire year -- it was written in 1811 by Heinrich von Kleist, and it's about this super awsomely good guy whose horses get taken away from him unfairly, and so he goes on this...quest....to get revenge on the guys who did it, all the while losing his wife and burning lots of stuff down in the process. It's what Ragtime (favorite musical!) is based on (um, "Coalhouse" Walker Jr., anyone?), but I didn't even REALIZE that until I was pretty far in. Anyway, it was FANTASTIC, and I reccomend that anyone who hasn't read it reads it soon. It's short, and you don't even have to know German because the Penguin (I think) translation is AMAZING.
SO yes. I HAAAATED those thirty weeks of lectures and discussions and essays and stupid research, but I'm still proud of all of the stuff I learned. And now, because I should probably write this down before I forget, and because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want here, I'm going to make you hear about all of the stuff I had to think about that I wouldn't have had to think about otherwise.
ALL OF LAST YEAR consisted of Aristotle On Rhetoric, Novam Organum, causality, Aristotle's thoughts on the separation of body and soul, sappho, theophrastus, Descarte's Meditations on First Philosophy, German professors who come to lecture dressed as Aristotle, allying myself with the narrator in Persuasion,, wondering if a character's lack of relationship with the West Indies makes them a good person, long discussions in office hours with professors about Louis Sachar, Toni Morrison's prose, the rude mechanicals in Midsummer Night's Dream, 15th century texts about painting, Kuhle Wampe, Spartacists, the art of Photomange, Bauhaus, Entartete Kunst, Weimer Germany, John Heartfield, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, Shostakovich!, Russian peasants, Gershwin, "Summertime", "It Ain't Neccesarily So", Jane Jacob's opinions on city planning, discussion of web 2.0, Antigone, Brecht's stupid Antigone legend, democracy vs. monarchy, German men burning things down, epistimological crises, Indian self-rule, Indian peasants, professors with direct links to Ghandi's assassins, Holocaust memoirs, punk music in the German Democratic Republic, the South Asian Underground, female South Asian DJs, and the Asian Dub Foundation. Among more stuff.
I AM SO GLAD I WILL BE A SOPHOMORE NEXT YEAR AND THAT I PASSED ALL THREE QUARTERS OF HUM CORE BECAUSE IF I HAD TO RETAKE THIS CLASS AGAIN I WOULD KILLLLLL MYSELLF. But I can't deny that it was worth it the first time around.